Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Madrid downplay UCL experience

Published:Saturday | May 26, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (right) heads the ball during a training session on the open media day at the team's Veldebebas training ground in Madrid on Tuesday.

MADRID (AP):

Real Madrid are entering today's Champions League final with the attitude that the past means nothing.

According to coach Zinedine Zidane, the fact that the Spanish giants are two-time defending champions, playing in their third straight final and have a chance to win a fourth title in five seasons will be totally irrelevant when they take on Liverpool in Kiev.

"We are prepared," Zidane said earlier this week. "But not because we have more experience. That doesn't mean anything. It's another game. We have to go out and show that we want to win it."

Madrid are also the most successful team in European Cup history with 12 titles and 15 finals. While many in Madrid's squad have already won three Champions League titles, most in Liverpool's team have never made it to a final.

The only Liverpool player with a Champions League trophy is Emre Can, who was with Bayern Munich - although he didn't play much - when they won the European title in 2013.

"It doesn't matter that we won it last year and that they haven't made it to a final in 11 years," Zidane said. "We will give all we have."

Liverpool last played in the Champions League final in 2007, when they lost to AC Milan. They won their fifth - and most recent - European title in 2005, also against Milan.

"We've won the last two finals so it may seem something easy to do, but we know that it's not," said Madrid left back Marcelo, a three-time Champions League winner. "We know how hard it is to go through each training session and each game. It's tough to make it to the final and we are determined to win it."

Marcelo is one of the 12 Madrid players trying to win the competition for the fourth time. Cristiano Ronaldo can lift his fifth Champions League trophy, as he also won it with Manchester United in 2008.